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Video Review: Progressive Long Pole Vol. I


Gold Member
Oct 14, 1998
Tape #7 in the "Connecting the Systems" Series with Kelly Worden. Available through Paladin Press and http://www.kellyworden.com , alternate review at MAVR. Part of a subset of 2 tapes covering FMA staff/spear or Sibat concepts by Worden.

In this tape, the rattan staff comes up to around the sternum and so to get the most of this tape the viewer will have to play with different weights and lengths to see which moves are best for which weapon. One of Worden's earlier tapes, the conceptual nature of this tape made it hard to really breakdown.

The BD
Striking pattern ( grips, 4 Count Sinawalli, Empty hand applications)
Entries' (singled ended and hooking entries, target areas)
Center Pole Press (Close range deflections and passing)
Entries/combo strikes
Thrusts Applications

Production quality could've been better, as one camera angle, and faint, constant background music made it hard for Worden to be heard. The color background effects didn't help either, so crank up the volume and ignore the special effects.

I liked the tape overall but it's a victim of what I call the "Vunak Mess". If you've ever seen Paul Vunak's "JKD Knife Fighting" (Panther) and "Advanced Knife fighting" you know that they have nearly the same material in the beginning. So, if you had the first tape the second volume will only have a 1/2 hour of new material to work on. It leaves you feeling that one 90 min tape should and could have been made.

Material in Progressive Long Pole #1 is briefly covered in Worden's Ultimate Streetfighter/Renegade JKD. Long Pole covers the concepts deeper but Streetfighter gives better close ups of the physical technique. Staff/Empty hand relationships, empty hand entries, and the natural stance concept overlap on both tapes.

Worden teaches the 2 basic grips as single ended (relating to spear) and double ended (think Robin Hood) but doesn't take one over the other and the 3 Sinawalli drills shown can be done with each fighter in similar or opposing grips ala Ron Balicki. In the single ended grip, Worden teaches a backhand strike you'd see in other staff styles where one hand is near the opposite side armpit, which I don't like as I've never gotten a lot of power of that move and sometimes get tied up doing it. Personally, I'd rather switch my hand placement like with the basic Naginata strikes but YMMV.

The Center Pole Press Idea (blocking with the area between the hands) or staff Palasut (hooking/passing) I didn't like much either but with
Worden's method of teaching, I'll give it a chance. I will say I like Worden's method's overall, but mostly with the knife. He's also got one of the meanest finger locks I've ever seen and he brought up the point that some staff techniques may not work well in the confines of a bar using a tapered pool cue. Something to think about IMO.

This tape DEMANDS you know footwork, range, and empty hand skill, so intermediate and advanced folks will get the most out of it. The empty hand applications are pretty straightforward and there's enough
options for the staff/spear fighters of all styles but LEO/Military folks might not get as much in terms of simplicity and weapons retention issues.


"He who has smelled my breath and tried to shovel it up his ass, was on drugs and has never been the same, my friend." Smoke